Visitors to Sydney flock to the winding laneways of the Rocks, and there’s no shortage of shops trying to sell them a souvenir. Here are 10 of the best boutiques in the historic neighbourhood where you can grab a gift to remember your trip to the Harbour City.
There are plenty of souvenir shops lining the alleyways of the Rocks but none are as unique as this Nurses Walk boutique. Squidinki adds original and out-there designs to mugs, trays, bags, coasters, tea towels, notebooks, plates, playing cards and stacks of other memorable souvenirs, including ready-made Sydney Harbour gift packs to celebrate your time in Australia’s biggest city.
This boutique jeweller prides itself on fusing cutting-edge creativity with old-world elegance, making the north end of George St in the Rocks the perfect setting for its store. AHW Studio is a family business that particularly specialises in industrial and raw steampunk jewellery, all hand-crafted locally in Sydney.
When a designer’s list of celebrity fans includes names like Elton John, Stephen Fry and Cliff Richard, you know the clothes are quality. Visit this George St store to check out Joe Bananas’ colourful designs for yourself — expect luxury menswear and hand-woven textiles inspired by quintessentially Australian colours and textures such as the black opal and the red dust around Uluru.
When you’re hunting a souvenir for the sweet tooth in your life, look no further than this shop in the Rocks Centre on Kendall Lane. Sticky uses traditional techniques to hand-sculpt sugary creations — visit the store to witness the magic for yourself — then either pick up a bag of lollies or order your very own bespoke confectionery by designing some personalised rock candy.
Since it launched only five years ago, Deciem has exploded to own more than 10 beauty brands sold across 26 locations in the UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, Korea and Australia, and its only Sydney store is located in the heart of the Rocks. Pop into the George St shop to check out the range of functional and affordable cosmetics that have quickly become such a hit across the globe.
If you believe in all things mystical, then you could spend hours in this George St institution. The Argyle Oracle is known as Sydney’s finest psychic centre, offering a huge range of divine items and psychic gifts as well as daily personal readings in tarot, clairvoyance, palmistry, astrology, numerology, plus crystal ball and aura reading.
This George St boutique delivers what it promises: hats, and lots of them. Hat World was established in Sydney in 2005 and has cemented its reputation as one of Australia’s leading headwear retailers ever since, stocking iconic brands like Akubra, Stanton, Rafinelle, Barmah, Tilley and Kangol in its sophisticated Rocks location.
Keen to take a little whiff of the Rocks back home after your visit? Then grab something from DUX. This Playfair St boutique is a luxury home ambience and body product store selling everything from hand-poured candles and personalised reed diffuser fragrances to aromatherapy room sprays and pure essential oil soaps, all non-toxic, paraben-free, chemical-free and formulated without animal testing.
You haven’t experienced wintry warmth until you’ve rugged up with some alpaca wool, which is exactly what you’ll find at this charming boutique tucked away on Nurses Walk. The Australian Alpaca Barn stocks coats, jackets, ponchos, capes, knitting supplies and a stack of other quality products made from alpaca fibre grown and manufactured in Australia.
This George St boutique sells some seriously posh snacks. We’re talking gourmet muesli, scrumptious cookies, fruit dried in the Queensland sun — all non-GM, using loads of wholesome Australian ingredients, and hand-made to reduce the impact on the environment. Foodies will love Whisk & Pin for the gorgeous food that’s both good for you and good for the planet.